British media is reporting that British Conservative Ex-Defense Secretary Penny Mordaunt has been criticized by members of the British Home Office for meeting with Zara Mohammed, the new Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain, despite an existing “non-engagement” policy with the group. According to an article by The Sun:
A top Tory minister has been slapped down after boasting she sat down with a boycotted Muslim group. Ex-Defence Secretary Penny Mordaunt met the Muslim Council of Britain on Friday. This was despite an existing “non-engagement” policy for ministers towards the group since 2009. The MCB has been the centre of controversy despite claiming to be the UK’s main “national representative Muslim body”. (…) The last Labour government cut ties with the group after a leading member signed a declaration calling for acts of violence against Israel.
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The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) is among the most influential Muslim organizations in Britain and has historically been dominated by adherents of the Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami movement in the UK, usually acting in concert with the Global Muslim Brotherhood (GMB), a transnational Islamist influence network covered by the Global Influence Operations Report (GIOR). In January 2017, Zara Mohammed was elected as the new MCB Secretary-General, the first female SG in its history. From 2014–2017, Mohammed held several leading positions in the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS), a national umbrella organization representing Islamic societies at universities throughout the UK and that has numerous ties to the GMB network in the UK. In October 2020, the GIOR reported that the MCB had joined a virtual Muslim leadership conference that brought together a large number of GMB leaders and groups from around the globe.
(For more on the MCB and its role in the UK Muslim Brotherhood network, see a 2020 report by Damon L. Perry, Ph.D., a researcher and analyst specializing in extremism at the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Political Violence (ICSR) at London’s King’s College.)